BlueNC's blog

Wednesday News: Every vote should count

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DEM GROUPS FILE LAWSUIT OVER ABSENTEE BALLOT "CURES": Several Democratic groups sued on Tuesday demanding that North Carolina block a provision requiring residents to cast their vote over from scratch if a witness fails to sign or provide an address on the envelope containing their absentee ballot. State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said in a memo last month that envelopes lacking a witness name, signature or address are declared “spoiled," and a new ballot must be mailed to the voter. The requirement violates the state constitution, in part because it places an undue burden on the right to vote for those without the required witness information, the lawsuit filed in Wake County court says. It argues that the registered voter could miss out on voting due to delays in receiving a new ballot.
https://www.wral.com/democratic-groups-sue-to-seek-fixes-for-more-nc-ballots/19276442/

Tuesday News: Wave him off

WINSTON-SALEM TRUMP RALLY TO BE HELD AT AIRPORT: Smith Reynolds Airport has been gearing up for the president’s Tuesday campaign stop since 6 a.m. Monday morning. Fences have been set up around the airport to handle those who show up to hear the president and those who have planned protests. Hand sanitizer stations and temperature checks will happen as people enter the area. If you go, you also have to sign a waiver saying you take full responsibility if you catch COVID-19 at the campaign stop. Winston-Salem police plan to have more than two miles of road blocked off Tuesday. Liberty Street will be closed from 28th Street to Glenn Avenue at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Forsyth County deputies will be on-site working alongside secret service.
https://www.cbs17.com/news/north-carolina-news/winston-salem-prepares-ahead-of-president-donald-trum...

Monday News: Two thousand, eight hundred ninety

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NC HOSPITALIZATIONS DUE TO COVID 19 ARE DOWN TO 830: At least 176,901 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 2,890 have died, NC DHHS reported. The number of completed COVID-19 tests increased by 32,079 Sunday to 2,442,950. About 6% of the tests were positive as of Saturday, the latest date available. The number of those in the state hospitalized for COVID-19 decreased by one on Sunday to 830, according to DHHS. The last time the COVID-19 hospitalization numbers were so low was on June 16, when 829 people were hospitalized. Hospitalizations continued to increase thereafter and peaked at 1,236 on July 29.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245530830.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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"LAW AND ORDER" PRESIDENT PROTECTS LAWBREAKING AND RULE DODGING: Vigilantes contemplating gunning down protesters have no better friend than Trump. Just ask Kyle Rittenhouse – the semi-automatic gun-toting teen charged with murdering two protesters in Kenosha. Wisconsin. Trump offered a lame defense for Rittenhouse’s alleged actions while blanketly condemning of all protesters and the leaders of the cities they live in. Trump’s latest high-profile invitation to lawlessness this week sadly overshadowed the celebration of the designation of Wilmington as the nation’s first “World War II Heritage City.” He advised North Carolinians who vote by mail to also vote in person. For a guy who has been obsessively complaining, wrongly, that mail-in ballots were connected with rampant voter fraud, he popped off telling people to vote twice – the textbook definition of voter fraud.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-law-order-president-protects-lawbreaking-and-rule-dodging/19269659/

Saturday News: "I want to be free."

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DURHAM POLICE DREW GUNS ON 3 CHILDREN AT APARTMENT COMPLEX: More than 100 people came together Friday night to speak out after Durham police officers recently drew their guns on a group of Black children at an apartment complex. Three children — ages 9, 11 and 15 — were playing tag at Rochelle Manor Apartments when five officers pointed guns at them and told them to freeze, two of the children have told media outlets about the Aug. 21 incident. Officers handcuffed the 15-year-old boy, they said. “I don’t want to have to be scared when I go outside,” Jaylin Harris, the 15-year-old, told those gathered outside Durham City Hall on Friday. “I want to be free.” In a statement Sunday, Police Chief C.J. Davis expressed remorse and said officers had approached the children with their guns drawn because they were responding to a report of a man with a gun who had been involved in an earlier shooting.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article245502800.html

Friday News: Who's on the fringe, Tim?

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LAWSUIT GOES AFTER ANTI-ABORTION LAWS IN NC: The lawsuit targets a number of state laws, including: A 72-hour waiting period, which starts counting down after a woman gets mandatory counseling. A licensing program that the groups say "arbitrarily singles out abortion providers with medically unnecessary" requirements. A ban on physician assistants, nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners providing abortions. A ban on using telehealth for medication abortions. A requirement that providers deliver "biased counseling with no medical benefit to their patients" before performing an abortion. Moore spokesman Joseph Kyzer said in an email that legislative leaders "will vigorously defend" the state's abortion laws "against another attempt by the radical left to use the courts to overcome voters’ rejection of their fringe agenda."
https://www.wral.com/abortion-providers-sue-over-nc-waiting-period-other-restrictions/19268626/

Thursday News: Agenda-driven lawmaking

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BERGER'S "RELIEF" PACKAGE RAISES INCOME ELIGIBILITY FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS: Senate leader Phil Berger, an Eden Republican, said parents are at “their wit’s end.” The checks, which are being called “extra credit grants,” would be given to parents who filed taxes. For those who didn’t file, they would be able to apply for the grant, which is a flat amount regardless of how many children are in the household. $335 checks would be issued by Dec. 15. Part of the proposed bill also includes raising income-eligibility caps for opportunity scholarships, which are vouchers for private school. Republican leaders have said private schools opening for all-in-person learning this school year are an important school choice for parents. The state reopened in Plan B, which allows local school systems to decide how to operate with remote or a mix of remote and in-person learning with restrictions.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article245416500.html

Wednesday News: Education mandate

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LEANDRO JUDGE BACKS $427 MILLION FUNDING PLAN: A North Carolina judge has approved a plan that calls for spending $427 million this year to improve the state’s public education system. But it’s questionable whether the money will be provided. The $427 million action plan developed by the State Board of Education and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration includes pay raises for teachers, increasing funding for at-risk students and expanding early childhood education programs. “We are constitutionally mandated to move these issues forward, and I’m as committed as ever to complying with that constitutional mandate without anybody getting in the way,” said Lee, who is in charge of overseeing the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article245385185.html

Tuesday News: Out of the frying pan...

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FITNESS CENTERS OPEN IN DEFIANCE OF PHASE 2 RESTRICTIONS: Planet Fitness is reopening some gyms in North Carolina this week, despite a coronavirus executive order that keeps gyms closed. Crunch Fitness is also reopening gyms, ABC11, The News & Observer’s news partner, reported. And O2 Fitness says on its website that several locations in North Carolina are open as of Aug. 28. A spokesperson for Gov. Roy Cooper, Dory MacMillan, said in an email that Cooper would talk Tuesday about the next phase of easing restrictions on businesses, which would take effect later this week. The changes would come a week earlier than previously announced. A state Justice Department letter in June said indoor gyms should be open to people who use them as part of a medical treatment plan. Planet Fitness told members it will not require members to show documentation of medical need.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245378940.html

Monday News: Two thousand, six hundred ninety two

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NC COVID 19 CASES SURPASS 166,000, LESS THAN 1,000 HOSPITALIZED: At least 166,127 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 2,692 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 1,051 new COVID-19 cases, down from 2,585 the day before. The health department said the Saturday’s new cases included about 1,000 positive tests from early August that LabCorp had just reported. As of Saturday, the latest date available, health officials said nearly 9% of tests were positive. State health officials have said that number should be 5% or lower. At least 917 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Sunday, down from 965 on Saturday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245368740.html

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